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Overview: Corrections professionals discuss "solving problems today for a better tomorrow".

Corrections professionals from across the country attended the American Correctional Association's 2003 Winter Conference in Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 11-15, where many discussed how to address the challenging issues that face the corrections field, such as the work force shortage and constrained state budgets. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to network at several events, participate in more than 60 workshops, discover the latest advances in correctional technology and services in the exhibit hall, including ACA's Online Corrections Academy, bid on items at the silent auction and tour area correctional facilities. In addition, speakers Sarah Hart, director of the National Institute of Justice, Bob Danzig, former CEO of Hearst Newspapers, and motivational speaker Michael Broome gave engaging keynote addresses.

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Throughout the week, conference participants attended a variety of workshops featuring topics such as balancing priorities in the face of budget reductions, the nursing shortage, developing emergency response teams, technological applications in corrections, mentally ill offenders, drug courts and the impact of changes in sentencing and release policies on U.S. correctional populations. (For workshop coverage, visit www.aca.org.)

Attendees were able to receive continuing education units, and continuing medical education credits, and health care continuing education credits for their participation. In addition, ACA's strategic work force initiative was launched during the conference. The project will explore ways to tackle the looming work force shortage facing corrections during the early part of the 21st century.

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ACA's exhibit hall was packed with vendors displaying the latest products and services in the corrections field. At the Student Poster Session, conference attendees met criminal justice students who were displaying their research. The poster session has proved to be a great way to link students and corrections professionals.

In addition, awards were presented throughout the week to honor several talented and dedicated corrections professionals. ACA presented the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award to Margaret Henderson, assistant social worker supervisor for the New Jersey Department of Corrections; the Medal of Valor Award to Officer Doug Watts of the Delaware DOC; the Peter P. Lejins Research Award to Dr. Linda G. Smith, research consultant for her company, Program Development Research and Evaluation Inc.; and the Outstanding Journalism Award to Ziva Branstetter, Rhett Morgan and David Crenshaw of Tulsa World.

ACA members will next meet in Nashville, Tenn., for the 133rd Congress of Correction.

A special thanks is extended to all of ACA's workshop participants. In these challenging times, it seems that everyone's workload is on overload and the fact that many of you took time out of your busy schedules to speak, moderate or evaluate a workshop is especially appreciated. No matter what capacity in which you participated, it was of the utmost importance to the success of the conference program. Without your volunteer support, we would not have been able to offer the quality workshops that were presented in Charlotte. Hopefully, you found the experience equally rewarding and we will be able to count on you to participate at a future conference.
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Title Annotation:2003 Winter Conference
Author:Buisch, Michele D.
Publication:Corrections Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2003
Words:502
Previous Article:Criminology professor receives Mead Award.
Next Article:Opening Session: Sarah Hart addresses attendees during Opening Session.
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